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Hates Clinicals and is a Polymath

Nurse Beth   (198 Views 3 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I'm in my second semester of my associates degree and I'm ready to quit for two reasons: 1. I'm very much a polymath and often spew ideas of other business ventures to the point were I spend more time in my day planning these pretend businesses than studying. I come from an artistic background and my mind just gravitates there all the time. I'm 40 years old, and I just want to make money rather than be in school another year. 2. I hate bedside nursing, I'm not good at remember lab values (I know, small detail), and I feel that I lack the compassion for patients that a nurse should have, though I'm very good at faking it. I love learning, but hate going to clinical. Do you have any suggestions of where to go from here?

Dear Polymath,

I had to look this up- a polymath is a person who knows a lot about a lot of subjects. Knowing a lot about a lot of subjects and loving learning is wonderful, but at 40 years old, you need to channel these traits into a viable career path if you want to make money.

In addition to being a polymath, you also say that you lack compassion and hate clinicals. Lacking compassion and "hating" clinicals and bedside nursing does not bode well for being a nurse.

Since nursing is not working out for you, consider taking a career aptitude test to gain insight into a career best suited to your strengths and aptitudes. Remember that there are mundane and tedious aspects to every career. There is no perfect job, but there is a job that is a good fit for you. 

Daydreaming about business ventures and artistic opportunities may be a way of avoiding committing to a solid career path.

I sincerely hope you find your way.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth 

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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206 Likes; 2 Followers; 5,519 Visitors; 936 Posts

The career aptitude test is a good idea, but I wouldn't rule out nursing. I didn't like clinical when I was in school, and I don't remember anyone who did.

I didn't like hospital bedside nursing, either. Many people don't. I did it for a short period and moved on.

Compassion, I think, is overrated. It's a feeling that comes and goes. In certain clinical situations, too much compassion can even be a negative thing.

You are 40 years old and your daydreams of various businesses have apparently not panned out, or you probably would not be in nursing school.

These are a few of my thoughts.

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1 hour ago, Oldmahubbard said:

I didn't like clinical when I was in school, and I don't remember anyone who did.

😳 Ohhhh....I loved them very much. They were so much better than being forced to sit in a room while someone stumbled to read the text or slides aloud. Clinicals were the opportunity to get in there see/do things and be around people who knew what they were talking about. I thought it was so exciting to "see" didactic information through patients/cases, and likewise to see things that I didn't have a context for and later be able to put them into context.

But we're all different and have all had different experiences. 👍🏽

I agree with the advice for career counseling though. And to the OP, I would kindly suggest focusing less on the idea of being a polymath and instead consider your differentials thoroughly. For example, even depression/anxiety disorders can present life challenges similar to what you describe. That is not to make a diagnosis, of course - but an example of a situation where an underlying issue can be overlooked.

Best to you ~


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